I Bought the Plans

Decisions, Decisions

I first needed to select my construction methods and which plans I would use.  The original 1939 design was named SKUA (after a predatory seabird) and modified by the CCWBRA class association in 2008 to their current plans. It is a glue and stitch design that requires a jig and cradle to assemble.  Chesapeake Light Craft re-designed the plans and provides a true stitch-and-glue construction that is available as full size paper plans and manual or a kit with all of the wood pieces cut by CNC.

I purchased a set of the class association plans first.  The CLC methods looked stronger to me, had lots of built in flotation, and does not require much of a jig when building. The CLC might be a little heavier, but nothing significant.  I selected the Chesapeake Light Craft full size paper plans, opting out of purchasing the CNC-cut kit for several reasons:

  • Expense- Shipping of the kit.  I found a wooden boat building company with a good supply of okume and almost all the needed supplies in Vero Beach which was a short drive away.
  • The CNC cut kit has a split deck for shipping reasons.  I was able to eliminate the seam in the center with a one piece deck and avoid the splices required for some of the longer pieces.
  • The layout and cutting from patterns was time consuming, but was a good experience in learning boatbuilding.

Engine and Class

There wasn’t much debate on which class to race. The race class has two major divisions, 6 HP or 8 HP based on the weight of the driver.  Tipping the scales at 200+, I went with “go big or go home”.  Power is good.

I began my search on Craigslist finding a 1980 Evinrude that showed up in the remote Florida countryside. A little rough, but it runs.  When I looked it over a little closer, it had the serial number of an 8 HP but was really rated 7.5 HP, probably not a big deal.

We were spending some time in the Keys when I located a 1993 Johnson.  The owner had it apart to replace the water pump and found the drive shaft stuck in the flywheel.  He gave up on it and put it on Craigslist for about $400.  It was very clean and did not show much wear, so I upped my game by taking it home.  It took a little effort to build a tool to separate the drive shaft from the powerhead, but it seems to run good now.  We’ll see how it does on the water.

I heard from one of the more experienced drivers that it is easy to end up with more money in motors than you have in the boat.  He went on to say that when you are trying to get the most speed you can out of a 40 year old powerplant that you cannot modify, you should buy up every one that you can and sell the slow ones! I was happy with the second one, but soon found another one that suffered the same problem.  It is a 1998 Evinrude, and so far every single part is identical.  I think that I am set to go in the engine department.

Boat Name

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to dream up names, but none of them were sticking.  My wife, Terry does embroidery and spends most of her waking hours in a fabric store.  She found one of those Jimmy Buffet prints with the “Five O’clock Somewhere” logo on it.  That is it.  I have always admired Jimmy and his lifestyle, so it stuck. OK, I am retired and it doesn’t really make much difference what time it is, but I like it.  I checked with Kimberly, the CCWBRA secretary to see if 5 was taken.  She laughed.  But she did offer 500 and it’s mine.  Ok, it is not the name of a cocktail but it fits in with the theme.

Why I Wrote this Build Blog

As I started working on this project, I started wondering about how-to’s, making some of the pieces, where to get parts and materials, etc.  It quickly became apparent that there is not a lot of published resources to follow specifically.  I began documenting most of it with photographs and now have gotten around to putting it out there.  At the time of this writing, am now almost ready to put the deck in place, so I am trying to catch up a bit.